Alumna Deirdre Lyons Joins Faculty at Scripps Institute of Oceanography

Highland Hall is pleased to announce that alumna Deirdre Lyons ('98) has accepted a tenure-track faculty position at the University of California, San Diego in the Marine Sciences / Biology Research Division Biology Section of the Scripps Institute of Oceanography (SIO).  The Scripps Institute of Oceanography is arguably the top institution in its field and Dede was chosen among numerous highly qualified applicants in her specialty from around the world competing for this rare opening.  A department of UC San Diego, SIO is one of the oldest, largest, and most important centers for ocean, earth and atmospheric science research, education, and public service in the world.

Research at SIO encompasses physical, chemical, biological, geological, and geophysical studies of the oceans, Earth, and planets. SIO undergraduate and graduate programs provide transformative educational and research opportunities in ocean, earth, and atmospheric sciences, as well as degrees in climate science and policy and marine biodiversity and conservation.  Dede's laboratory will study development and evolution of two large animal groups, mollusks and echinoderms, focusing on two marine species in particular, the slipper snail and the variegated sea urchin.  Members of her lab will use molecular biology, experimental embryology, live-imaging, cell-lineage analysis, and gene regulatory networks analysis to discover how different animal forms have evolved as a result of changes to developmental programs, for example how mollusk shells and echinoderm skeletons evolved. 

Dede, a twelve-year Waldorf student and graduate of Highland Hall, earned a B.A. in Biology from Mount Holyoke College (MA), and a PhD in Molecular and Cell biology from U.C. Berkeley (CA).  She has served as a teaching assistant, and conducted summer research, at the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole (MA), and is completing her post-doctorate work at Duke University before starting her faculty position.